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October 29, 2018

What's That Quote? #26 (Be a Pineapple)

Good Morning on this chilly Monday!
I hope everyone had a fun, Fall filled weekend!
I'm still not digging these cold temps. It only makes me yearn even more for Spring!
Can we just skip Winter?....

All this cold has me thinking more and more about what I love and miss about warmer, sunnier days!
One thing is all the fresh produce! My garden, and...fruit!
Pineapples specifically. They are my favorite!
So, sweet and crisp.

Today's quote popped up on my Pinterest a while back and I, of course had to "pin" it for later.
It seemed fitting for today.

I am focusing more on my own family, myself, what works for us, and having the confidence to make OUR lives what we truly want.
We all needed to step back, regroup, and refocus on our goals. I refuse to let my life pass by, while trying to please others and also help others while my husband, children, and myself suffer.

I don't want to sound selfish or bitter. I am just physically, mentally, and spiritually exhausted from living a life that is
This is not the life I want.
I have come to a place where my purpose, my being has been reawakened and I can no longer justify or excuse settling or placing myself on the back burner.
I cannot continue to go day in and day out miserable.

Stand Tall!
I will push myself to have the confidence to be ME!
To thrive and pursue my own life!

Wear a Crown!
I will remind myself, that I AM SOMEONE IMPORTANT!
My needs, wants, hopes, and dreams are just as important as others.

Be Sweet on the Inside!
I am actually a very loving person. I hope that I am sweet.
but, sweet does not have to mean allowing myself to be used, or pushed over for others.

Be a Pineapple
Stand tall, wear a crown, and be sweet on the inside!

October 15, 2018

What's that Quote? #25 (Let go of negative thoughts)

Monday, Monday...
We meet again!

I know I haven't been around much the past few weeks. It has been rough around here.
We have had 5 deaths in the last five weeks. We are coping and trying to get by.
It has really kicked my anxiety into it's own universe! I've been a hot mess for so many reasons that I just needed to have a really good meltdown. Get it out and get over it!
Today, I am starting anew.
I am determined to try my hardest to maintain my sanity and what normalcy I can amidst all!

"Let go of thoughts that don't make you strong."

I am so tired of letting thoughts, things get me down!
Like the saying goes...
I am sick and tired of being sick and tired!
Seriously, it is exhausting!

I tend to let every little set back or snag get me so down.
I sit and think,
"Well, you should have known that would happen."
"What did you expect?"
"Why did you think that would work?"

I hate sounding so bitter and self destructive, but that is usually how I am. #truestory

I hate that I do that and I hate how it feels.
Why am I so hard on myself?
It probably has something to do with a regressed childhood trauma... who knows. I don't have the money or insurance to dig into that one at the moment.

For now, I have me and God. We talk, we'll figure this one out.
Today, I am focusing on my positive vibes and what I CAN accomplish! What I know I have strength in. What I know I can succeed at!
Today, I am going to let go of the thoughts that don't make me strong!

I hope you will do the same.
What do you do to let go of the thoughts?
How do you focus on the positive?
Share any thoughts or stories.
Happy Monday!

October 7, 2018

4 in 1 Printable Worksheet:Shapes Great for preschool

I love free printable!

Hi, y'all. I hope everyone is enjoying this glorious day!

The little and I may take some time to enjoy the outdoors today. We both deserve it.
My little has been working super hard this past week.
Letters, shapes, worksheets, chalkboard work, flashcards.
We've been dabbling in a little of a lot!
You know how it is, they have the attention span of hyena on his third Snickers bar!
Well, my kid does anyway.

I wanted to find something that I could use for a multitude of lessons!
Or at least something that I felt gave her enough work to keep her doing more than five minutes of school time, and also actually engaged her enough that she was learning.

I can't count how many worksheets we have done on the letter A.
Say A. Trace letter A. Find all the As in the hidden puzzle. A flashcard. Write A on the chalkboard.
Over and over... and you know what?
She STILL cannot identify A by itself. UGGH!
We She is struggling with this one!
We'll get back to A next week!

So, I finally found this page that is totally free to print out over @Erin-specialeducation
It is actually part of a shapes series, but I just wanted the one sheet.
You can always look through and choose what you need.

I knew I was going to use this worksheet in several ways.
I wanted to create a lesson that gave her a few ways to learn from it.
(I printed several copies)

I am calling this 

4 in 1 worksheet

For us and most, that is the first thing they need to learn.
What is the name of each shape?
This worksheet is made so that the shapes are drawn with dotted lines perfect for tracing each shape!
We used a crayon on one and pencil on another
3. Color
The color key at the top is great to teach them a pattern or to follow instructions.
Only squares are yellow, etc.
4.Cut & Glue
The dotted lines used for tracing also work great to encourage cutting along the line.
This was wonderful practice for scissor control.
We then glued all the shapes onto a piece of construction paper.
Do it randomly or make a pattern!

I am so happy with all she took away from this one worksheet!
4 lessons, 1 sheet= happy momma!

To add a cute little book to your shapes lesson, check on the link below:

*This post contains affiliate links

September 25, 2018

Recipe: Jello Flavored Candy Popcorn! Yum!

Super Gooey Jello Candy Popcorn 

Hi Y'all! I am super excited to share one of our favorite snack recipes with you!
It is so yummy. Super easy and doesn't take a lot of time.

My sister had a birthday party for my niece this past weekend. The theme was all things junk food! Pretzels, pizza, ice cream, cake, and...popcorn! Well, and unicorns, of course!
She calls at the last minute and asks us to make a ton of microwave popcorn. 
We popped 6 bags...
We came home with 3... as in 3 huge ice cream tubs full(we recycle) of popped popcorn!
I just couldn't let it sit and go stale and be wasted!
So, we decided to go for our old tried and true recipe. We whipped up our yummy Jello Flavored Candy Popcorn. 
We used Raspberry jello for this one! See in the picture that wonderful shiny pink? It tastes as good as it looks!
Here is my recipe

  • Line a cookie sheet with wax paper.
  • Spray the paper with any cooking spray
  • Pour out your popcorn onto a sheet and set aside
  • On medium heat, mix corn syrup and sugar in a sauce pan
  • bring to a boil, stir until all sugar is melted 
  • add entire pack of jello powder
  • allow to boil and mix well until all jello is dissolved
  • remove from heat
  • carefully drizzle or pour mixture over popcorn slowly and as evenly as possible(Extreme Caution! It is boiling sugar!)
  • using a spoon or spatula, toss and coat all popcorn
  • Allow to cool or refrigerate a few minutes(I like it a tad still warm)

That's it! It is so easy and only takes about 10 minutes!
Remember, you can try any flavor and the colors are amazing!
(corn syrup makes everything shiny!)
Enjoy your very own fun treat!

September 24, 2018

What's That Quote? #24(Just Keep Swimming)

What's That Quote Monday

Oh, Monday!
Per the norm, I am struggling today! I feel like each Monday is getting harder for me to get back to any sort of routine. Every weekend is anticipated and then rushed through. I need a break, a re-boot...

"Just Keep Swimming..."

This smart little fish knows what I am talking about!
Some days that is all I can do! And, I have to admit, it isn't just Mondays. Why should they take all the heat?
It could be a crappy Wednesday or the longest Friday in months. I really have no idea anymore. Most of the time, I'm not completely sure what day it is...
My life is like a big snowball rolling through life getting more and more chaotic each day. I am so overwhelmed, drained, and out of it; I'm not entirely sure how I'm still functioning!
Well, that isn't true. I do know how!
My God! Literally!
He gives me strength every day to keep swimming. To keep going in this crazy life.
He always gives me exactly what I need for the day. Whether it be more energy, more quiet time, more nourishment, or more patience. He knows, and he provides. It may not seem like it in the moment. But, at the end of my day when I reflect on all that I have accomplished, or when I wake up ready to do it all again. Whatever that day is going to bring, I know He is there and will provide. He will get me through.

A few of my current struggles, or things I have been dealing with lately are, my husband being unemployed for over two months, trying to juggle our bills and watching our savings disappear quickly. Our second daughter had a concussion from a volleyball accident on august 23rd and she is still suffering from headaches(also, still no health insurance). She is in her first year of high school, so that means homecoming and parade are quickly, money.
We've also had three deaths in our family in the last eight days. My sister's mother-in-law, a dear family friend, and a cousin that had failing health for years. I also have two cousins and my best friend going through high risk pregnancies.
This is on top of all my other, everyday struggles. Especially, with my anxiety.
I just keep swimming...

I know each one of us has our own challenges. Everyone's are different and we each deal with them differently.
What we may think, "Oh.That's nothing!" could be a huge struggle for someone else.
I know, I've said it myself.
I try very hard not to down play someone's struggles. I know what it feels like. I know what it is like to feel completely overwhelmed and feel like no one understands. or worse, no one cares.
Just keep swimming, but you don't have to swim alone.
Remember there is always someone who will do a few laps with you and if you need to; get out of the water! Take a break and then jump back in!

Happy Monday Y'all!

September 14, 2018

Halloween Craft For Kids-Funky Pumpkins/Jack-O-Lanterns

Funky Halloween Pumpkin Craft

As many of my fellow blogging mommas know, in order to actually have an awesome seasonal or holiday post out and floating around the internet in time for people to find it, view it, and make it useful; we have to get a head start and be planning WAY early!
Well, that is the plan...
I had been jumping around Pinterest, the web, and other blogs, trying to find a few great craft ideas for Halloween.
I have found several, but finding the time and getting my little actually interested in wanting to do them is another story.
We did manage to find one that she was pretty excited to get started on.
It was the using scissors part!
 I'm not sure if I should be proud that she does so well and wants to practice, or terrified that my new five year old has a scissor obsession?!?!

Anyway, the craft is a simple cut, decorate, and glue project aimed for toddlers and younger kids.
You can find the original post and give a shout out here to:

Funky Pumpkins
  • construction paper
  • stick or bottle glue
  • scissors
  • old magazines or newspapers
optional decorations
  • googly eyes
  • beads
  • pipe cleaners

You will need to take your construction paper and cut out "pumpkin"(orange) shapes and the stems(green), then glue stems to back of pumpkins
I worked on this part while she cut out eyes, noses, and mouths from magazines.
This seemed to keep her busy and also reduce her glue use. LOL

Once everything is cut out, we decided to see how silly we could make them. The point was to not "match" eyes, nose, and mouth that typically looked normal. The funkier the better...and cuter.

After you allow them to dry, you can glue to a solid sheet of construction paper or use them individually however you like.
A fun idea is to use them as cards for friends. Write a spooky message on the back and give them out.

Here are a few we made. They turned out so silly and the little really had fun deciding which eyes or nose to add to which pumpkin.
You can always use different colors or make your pumpkins into different shapes.

I hope you enjoyed our quick craft. Be sure to check out our other craft ideas
If you are looking for some spooky books for your littles, be sure to check out my post here
Enjoy and Happy Halloween! Be sure to share your ideas or post pics if you try our craft!

September 10, 2018

What's That Quote? #23(Summer into Fall)

" And all at once, Summer collapsed into Fall."
Oscar Wilde

I have to admit, I have not read anything written by Mr. Wilde. I do know of many of his book titles, but honestly just haven't given any a try.
I'm not big into poetry, it just isn't my thing. And, I suppose, I've just not really had any interest in picking up any of his books.
I am however familiar with several of his quotes, mainly through Goodreads or other book-ish websites I use.
I find them witty and timeless.
I found this one particularly fitting today.

Here is grand ole Ohio, we literally went from weeks and weeks of  HOTT, dry days well above 80*F by 11am, to waking up to a flood warning, rain, rain, more rain, and thunderstorms with temps barely reaching a high of 68*F today. We are on day 3 of this downpour and it doesn't look like it will be letting up anytime soon.
I even caught a glimpse of some potential hurricane and high wind storms in the next few days due to everything moving farther north and inland.
So, yes, all at once summer has collapsed into fall!
I did quickly check my local ten day forecast, and it seems we may get a glimpse of what is left of this summer in the next week. Per Ohio, our chances are slim!
I'm not ready!
I am not one of those,... Ooooh, hoodies, flannels, bonfires, and all things pumpkin spice kind of girls. I am always cold, or cold if it is under 80*F and some people decide to crank the A/C down to 66 or so.
I want cook outs, pool parties, movie at the park, summer festivals, bikinis, and sunglasses!
I was not made for Fall or Winter.
I am 5' and pushing 110lbs. I have anemia and I need heat! Sunshine and blistering warmth!
I need Summer to hold out...just a little while longer!

I do love a good thunderstorm. That is, on the days when we can stay inside, snuggle up, be lazy, read a good book or watch an old movie, drink a cup of hot coffee and enjoy it. Not on the days when we have to venture out and be productive in the outside world!
In my perfect world, thunderstorms would only happen on weekends when we have nothing major planned, between the months of April and September.
The storms would happen after 7/8pm when we are already home and done with the majority of our day, and they would last all night long. I always sleep the best during thunderstorms.
The temperature would slowly began to rise with the sunrise and slowly dry out throughout the day.
You my perfect forecast world.
I know, crazy...but that's how I would have it.
I'm just not ready for Fall. This whole year has flown by way too fast. I feel like I have jet lag from trying to cram all our Summer adventures into the last few weeks.
Between back to school happening earlier every year, sports, birthdays, holidays, and the rest of my crazy life, it is just too fast!

How is the weather where you are? 
Are you ready for Fall? 
Do you welcome it or are you clinging to Summer like me?

September 7, 2018

Halloween and Fall Books For Kids

*post contains affiliate links

I've also added a fun Halloween packet to print out.

Who has kids busting at their little seams getting excited about Halloween?

I can't believe how early and how fast it seems to come every year!
I keep thinking the fourth of July was like...last month! Oh no, it's already September. Wow!
Too fast!

I have had this list of books sitting around. Taking my time getting cover photos and editing them, trying to pick a few of our favorites and seeing which ones others seem to favor.
Then, I realized today that everyone is posting, pinning, and sharing all of their Halloween and Fall stuff already! (Walmart already has real pumpkins for sale!!!)
Well, I can't be falling behind any more than I apparently already am!

We have read several of these books. I have also added some we have not read, but I am certainly going to shop for them.

Used Children's Books at Awesome Prices

Without further ado...

Great Halloween and Fall Books

Room on The Broom
This is one of our absolute favorites! It is a fast paced, rhyming story about a witch who has a few visitors on her broom.

The Legend of Spookley the Square Pumpkin
This book is about a pumpkin that doesn't look like all the others in the patch, but soon he shows them how different can be a good thing.

Pinkalicious and the Pink Pumpkin
Pinkalicious is all things pink! Even her pumpkin! If she can find one...

The Berenstain Bears and the Spooky Old Tree
Do they dare go there? Do they dare go in to the Spooky Old Tree?

Boo Who? A Lift and Flap story
Cute little book to show different Halloween things.

Peter Rabbit and the Pumpkin Patch
Peter and Benjamin are on another adventure into Mr. McGregor's garden.

The Berenstain Bears go on a Ghost Walk

Click, Clack, Boo by Doreen Cronin
The Tiniest Pumpkin by Janet Craig
We're Off to Find the Witch's House by Richard Krieb
Arthur's Halloween by Marc Brown
Fletcher and the Falling Leaves by Julia Rawlinson
Franklin's Pumpkin by Sharon Jennings
Bernstain Bears Harvest Festival by Stan Bernstain
There was an Old Lady who swallowed Some Leaves by Lucille Colandro
We're Going on a Leaf Hunt by Steve Metzger
Even more Awesome books @ Scholastic Kids

I know there are so many more I could list. I'm sure I will come back and add as I find more great books!
I hope you enjoy these. Please comment and share any that you've read and love!
What is your kid's favorite spooky book?

September 3, 2018

What's That Quote? #22 ( Dreams)

"Is a dream the ultimate freedom, or the ultimate prison?"
Buffi Neal
(Wonderfully Dysfunctional)

Today's quote came from a book I recently read. 
Wonderfully Dysfunctional: It Must Be Genetic
I have to say this book is definitely one of my favorites, and it will be one that really sticks with me.
You can read more about it and also my review over at A Novel Experience
I really hope you do. This book is full of wonderful quotes. The kind that really make you think.

  One of the reasons I chose this quote is because it asks us a question. It makes you think about how we perceive things differently. When I think of this quote I see it as "eyes wide open" dreams, not the sound asleep sort of dreams.
I really have been in a place where I am starting to wonder myself. Even before this quote came up.
Am I holding on to a dream so hard that I am imprisoned? A lot of days it feels exactly like that! I have these dreams, and I can't see any way for them to become a reality. Every day seems to be taking me farther from what I dream about. Every day that my life changes. My bank account gets smaller, my children grow older, circumstances keep changing(not in my favor), my own life...keeps going. Day and day and I am no closer to my dream.
So, am I trapped, imprisoned in this dream that most possibly will never be a reality?

I truly believe in dreaming. It is what gives us hope. It keeps us going. If we didn't have hope, goals, DREAMS, what would be the point in looking forward to tomorrow? I get that! I really do. I want my daughters to know that it is okay to dream. I completely encourage them to chase every one they have.
I don't want them to let anyone or anything stop them from chasing their own dreams and passions.
I just don't want them to feel this weight of imprisonment that may come with it.
Dreams shouldn't hurt. They shouldn't make us feel stuck or helpless, or even hopeless!

I want them to light up from the inside out and have that gorgeous smile that they can't contain when they think about their dreams, or talk about them. I want them to feel freedom when they dream.
I don't want them to look and feel like I do when someone mentions my dreams. The saddened look of...yea, maybe, someday...
All the while I'm crumbling inside. Thinking, knowing. Telling myself, "It's not gonna happen. Just smile and move on."
I hate that feeling. I hate that I can't even think about it or talk about it without feeling completely crushed on the inside.
I still have some hope. I know that God has a plan for me...I'm just completely blind to what that is at the moment. I will still dream. I will pray that God sees a way to show me where I am supposed to be.
I will be thankful for my blessings and try to let my dreams be my freedom.

I would love to hear how you take this quote! That is one of the main reasons I do these, "What's That Quote?" posts! I want to know how someone else sees or interprets the same quote.
Happy Monday! 

August 29, 2018

35 NO SCREEN Activities For Kids

Do you worry about how much screen time your child gets?
Do you know how much is too much?

I know we've all seen or heard the phrase "Cut the Cable". It is one of the latest trends in television watching.
I also know that it is mainly due to the economy and people trying to find ways to cut back costs, save a few bucks a month, or to get a better selection of what they view. Why pay for channels and programs you don't watch!?
But, what about cutting out screen time completely?
Okay, not completely, 100 % of the time.  I just mean cutting...wayyy back.
Did you know that using game systems, tablets, cell phones, and computers, are also considered screen time?
Studies have shown the many effects that too much screen time or stimulation can cause on children.
Did you know that too much screen time can affect children's sleep patterns, eating habits, and over all physical health? It can also cause difficulties in school, difficulty focusing for long periods, and behavior issues; such as, aggression, depression, social anxiety, and more.
Check this out:
Screen Free

Do you have NO SCREEN DAYS?
I used to. When we had our own home, we were cable free for over three years. We also had days when I didn't allow the televisions to be turned on at all! No tablets, television, game systems, computers, and occasionally they could listen to music or have ear buds for a limited time on those days.
Those days we had to find other ways to occupy our hours.
I admit some days seemed to drag on and some days I caved in and let the television be turned on. We aren't perfect, but making a conscious decision to try and limit screen time for everyone is a good step.
I know for some, this task is easier than it is for others. Most of us have had access to all these devises for quite a few years, and our children most likely have never been without at least one of them.
Remember the days of one "family TV", with 3 channels and everyone had to watch the same show or nothing at all.
Ah, those were the days. For myself, no screen days is pretty simple
Oh, wait, oops. No scratch that!
I do my work on the computer, mostly have my phone at the ready; constantly checking emails, texts, etc.
See, we all need a little less visual stimulation in our lives!
How are we going to do this NO Screen Thing?
Well, I'm glad you asked! I've come up with a list of 35 NO SCREEN Activities For Kids!
Hey, parents! Don't be afraid to join in.
Children learn by example!

1.Read a book
2. Do sidewalk chalk/play hopscotch
3.Sing a song-silliest wins!
4. Color/draw/paint
5.Build with blocks or Legos
6.Do a puzzle/jigsaw/maze
7. Run a race
8. Play dress up
9.Build a blanket fort
10.Play in the sand or dirt or mud!
11.Play a card game or board game
12.Have a scavenger hunt
13. Play I Spy or Would you Rather
14. Walk to a park
15. Play a game of catch or wiffle ball
16. Throw a Frisbee
17. Write a letter
18. Play career, be a doctor, teacher, veterinarian 
19.Play grocery store or restaurant- cashier/customer
20.Have a water balloon fight
21.Blow bubbles, make a water station
22.Call a friend, grandma, cousin
23. Make a snack, create a recipe
24. Go to a farm or petting zoo
25. Play with play-doh(who doesn't love this stuff...right?)
26.Give your toys a wash/clean up
27. Do arts and crafts
28. Play school
29. Play with a pet you have
30. Make homemade slime
31. Have a picnic indoors or outside
32. Go watch a ball game
33. Ride a bike, skateboard, scooter, roller skates
34. Go to the library
35. Go bowling

I hope this list gives you some great ideas for your NO SCREEN days!
Crayola has a ton of great arts and craft supplies and craft ideas.
Ticketmaster is a wonderful place to find deals and discounts on so many events. Concerts, games, plays, and more
Be sure to check both of those out for amazing ideas!
I would love to hear any other ideas you've found!
Sharing is caring!

August 27, 2018

What's That Quote? #21(Parenting)

It's Monday again y'all!
Who's ready for today's quote and tidbits of my life?

This quote made me chuckle a bit at first, and then I thought...
Wow! This is pretty accurate!

I have three daughters. Their ages are pretty spread out.
They are 20, 15, and almost 5 years old. You would think by now, with 20 years experience under my apron, I would have figured out how to drive this bus! I thought so too.
Apparently Martha(the name my girl's gave our real GPS) has other plans!

To be honest with y'all, most days I am just as lost as I was in 1998 when I brought home my first wrinkled and crying bundle of hunkin' love.
I have no clue where we are headed most days. There is no point in planning our route.
God, or the weather, someone, or something in life is going to be thrown in my path of peace and say..."Recalculating!"

And, I am sure y'all are familiar enough with life to know that by the time you get turned around; you've missed the next step/turn anyway and are now just winging it and hoping to reach your destination unscathed, and before they run out of chicken nuggets, or have to go potty in the backseat.

Short and sweet for today:
Parenthood is basically driving around in your mini van, cranking up the radio, dodging crayons being thrown at the back of your head, tuning out your little's pleas, trying to figure out what the sh*t that smell is, wondering if that light on the dash is important, Did I remember my wallet, and hoping you are headed in the right direction.

I have already made coffee, made the bed, dealt with a toddler melt down, taken daughter #1 to work, daughter #2 to doctor, then to school, then back home, gotten laundry gathered,...oh, and wrote a whole post(pics included) all before 10 am!
How's your Monday morning going?
What are your parenting U turns you deal with?

August 23, 2018

Remembering the Holocaust: Book List *Updated List*

" Fear makes you weak, anger makes you strong."
Irena Sendler

*This post contains affiliate links

The Holocaust, which was a genocide of Jews and anyone not considered of their "pure Aryan race"; officially began on January 30, 1933, when Adolf Hilter became Chancellor of Germany.
For the next twelve years, Nazis and their supporters, humiliated, tortured, and killed over 6 million Jews and almost 5 million others. Gypsies, Jewish supporters, handicapped, homosexuals, and anyone they feared were not like them.

VE Day, May 8, 1945 officially marks the end of WWII by the formal surrender by German Forces.

January 30, 1933- May 8, 1945

While, I understand dates, statistics, and facts are a huge part of learning history, and figuring out who done what, when, where and why; I want this post to be more about the actual people.
I have always been intrigued by the history of the Holocaust. For me, it is one of the most fascinating and tragic wars ever. 
The first time I ever heard of it was probably around grade 5 or 6. Yes, reading The Diary of Anne Frank. While I didn't have the mentality to fully grasp the severity, nor the horror of these events; I was captured by her! I truly believe my learning of Anne Frank and hearing her story is where I began my love of reading and being fascinated by people. Real people who have shared their stories, their truths, their lives with the world.
I am always in awe of the things people endure. The strength that we as humans have. Not just physically, but emotionally, and mostly spiritually.
How amazing their lives are.
That is what I want to share with you.

I want to pass on some of these wonderful books. I want you to learn who the people were, not just the events. These are real life people who lived through trials, tragedies, turmoils, and came out triumphant!
They are sharing their own lives with us. Whether it be to educate, to cleanse themselves, or just for a chance to be heard. 
These are their stories.


Here is a list of some of the books I have read personally.
You can click here to read more about each one: Goodreads: Holocaust and WWII Book List

1. The Diary of Anne Frank- Anne Frank
2. Behind the Secret Window- Nelly S. Toll
3. The Secret Holocaust Diaries- Nonna Bannister
4. Sarah's Key-Tatiana De Rosnay
5. The Nazi Officer's Wife-Edith Hahn Beer
6. Thanks for My Journey- Erica Miller
7. The Seamstress- Sara Tuvel Bernstein
8. A Lucky Child- Thomas Buergenthal
9. Witnesses to War- Michael Leapman
10. The Last Train- Rona Arato
11. Irena's Children- Mary Cronk Farrell
12. The Hiding Place- Corrie Ten Boom
13. Don't Forget To Write- Pam Hobbs

These books below are considered Historical Fiction. I still highly recommend them!

14. One eye laughing, the Other Weeping(Dear America)- Barry Denenberg
15. A Faraway Island-Annika Thor
16. The True Story of Hansel and Gretel- Louise Murphy
17. Block 11- Piero Degli Antoni
18. While We're far Apart- Lynn Austin
19. Between Shades of Grey- Ruta Sepetys
20.The Lily Pond- Annika Thor

These books are by far some of my favorites of all the books I have read.
Be sure to also check out A Novel Experience my blog dedicated to all things I love about books!

A few more I have read more recently,

I also wanted to list a few people that I recommend learning about. Some "heroes or heroines" of the Holocaust

Corrie Ten Boom

Irena Sendler

Oskar Schindler

Nancy Wake

"You see a man drowning, you must try to save him. Even if you cannot swim."
Irena Sendler

I hope you enjoy this list and will read as many as you wish!
What are your favorite stories/books?
I would love to know and add to my own list!
Please Share!!

August 21, 2018

10 Minute Meal: Pan Fried Sausage and Peppers

Fast, Easy, and Delicious
Pan Fried
Sausage and Peppers
in 10 Minutes!

Hello fellow food junkies!
I have been wanting to add a few recipes to my blog for a long time, but I always seem to forget to take pics of my food(my sister is the food photo junkie), or I get!
I have a crazy, chaotic life and anything, any meal that makes it easier is a huge plus! I also try to go as healthy as possible.
I am feeding a slew of people of all different ages, that have very different palates. My task is not always the easiest, but I have found a few recipes that seem to win over the majority. I consider that a win!
This is one of those recipes.

Prep Time: 5 minutes              Cook Time: 5 minutes
Serves: 6
2 packs Polish sausage(fully cooked)
2 cups Peppers(bell, sweet, banana, any kind)
1/2 onion
2 Tbsp/ one package garlic and herb seasoning(dry mix)

Slice your peppers and onion
Slice your sausage links into rounds
Start your cast iron skillet on low heat and add about 2 Tbsp of oil (I use extra virgin olive oil), any will do.
First, brown your sausage. When it is about half way cooked as you'd like add in your cut vegetables and add your seasoning.
Cook until vegetables are slightly tender.

Your dinner is finished!

This meal is ridiculously simple! No carbs, Low-Fat, and Delicious!
It is my #1 go-to meal for nights when we have games or just don't feel like a big meal.
It can easily be the whole meal or you can pair it up with almost any side...if you have the time and want to put in the effort.
Try it with brown rice, mac and cheese, even a light salad.
Add some carbs to the meal and have some garlic bread! So many things would go great with this dish.
1 pan, 4 ingredients, happy kids! It's a win!
I hope y'all enjoy!
What are your quick go-to meals?
Do you or your kids have a favorite?
I'd love for you to share!

August 20, 2018

What's That Quote? #20 (You're a fighter)

"You're a fighter. Look at everything you've overcome. Don't give up now."
Olivia Benson
(Law and Order:SVU)

Do you ever feel like you're living inside of a boxing ring?
You just keep fighting, waiting for the bell to ring?
To catch your breath, wipe your brow, and get back in there?
Some days, I feel like Rocky Balboa!
Ya know, the whole, "Yo, Adrian!"
Only in my version...It's more like, "Yo, Adrian, Help a girl out here!"
I'm tappin' out! You in? Back-up? May-Day? Anyone?

Okay, maybe I am being a bit dramatic, but you know how those days are...right?
We just keep fighting. We keep pushing through whatever is thrown at us!
We keep "adulting".
Some days we can get by easy peasy. Some days we struggle. Some days we fight tooth and nail to keep our sanity.

I have a crap ton of...stuff going on in my life right now.
I have some super OMG, I am so blessed highs and some UGHH seriously? lows.
I have the most amazing Savoir! Amen! Without Him, there would be no fight left in me!
I am super blessed to have my oh so amazing husband of 21 years(next week).
I have the most awesome 3 daughters I could ever have prayed for.
I have both of my parents and my most awesome mamaw. I have siblings with the biggest hearts of any people I have ever met, and many more family and friends God has blessed me with.
There are so many blessings I am forever grateful for!
I don't want to say...but.

But, that's how it is, life. 
I also have struggles.
We are currently not living in a house of our own. That is a huge struggle/fight for myself. I want my own home. My place, for my husband and our children. I want away from the area we are living. I want a fresh start.
We are also struggling financially.(big surprise, welcome to 2018...right?)
My husband lost his job almost two weeks ago...just as I was finally making about $25 a week with Affiliates and Google.
So, I felt like we were getting knocked down just as I was getting started.
We have one adult daughter who is 20 and trying to find her way as an adult. We need to continue to guide her and be supportive of her choices. Yet, she sees us falling behind. It is hard as a parent. They keep hearing our advise and suggestions but seeing us struggle isn't very reassuring.
We have a daughter who is 15, she just started high school, and her schedule, routine, and school dynamics are changing.
We have a almost 5 year old who thinks the world revolves and Peppa Pig and bologna.
Every day is different. Every day has new blessings and new challenges.
We definitely have came a long way, but our fight isn't over.

August 13, 2018

What's That Quote? #19(Hope, Lamentations 3:24 KJV)

What's That Quote?

Are you filled with hope today?
I sure hope so!
(I know, I'm a nerd)

"The Lord is my portion, saith my soul. Therefore will I hope in Him"
Lamentations 3:24

How awesome is that?
The Bible tells us that The Lord is our(mine, yours, and everyone who believes) portion!
Portion in biblical days means inheritance, reward, allotment.
The Lord is our portion. He is all we need! He really is the whole enchilada! And,... a side of guac!
What more could we possibly need?
The Bible is telling us,... Hey,! He's here! He's got you! He's got everything covered!
The Lord is our portion, saith my soul!
Say it again for those in the back!
The Lord is MY portion, saith my soul!
Therefore will I hope in Him!
That's a pretty easy concept to understand. He is offering us every reward, every HOPE we could imagine!
This is one of many verses we should be reminded of daily! We should be sharing with everyone we know. We should be shouting it from the rooftops!
The Lord IS my portion!
This world is rough! It is a terribly scary place. We live in days of violence, crime, fear, sin, drugs, despair, and tragedy. 
We all have hope for better days, easier days. But, where are you putting your hope? Is it in the Lord?
Are you praying for your portion? For your hope to come from Him?
This verse gives us all hope. A hope that we can have something far better. Better than we can even imagine most days!
We have hope!

Hope is defined by Mr. Webster as...
Hope: To desire, especially with an expectation that the wish will be granted.
Well, I'm not waiting for a genie to grant me any wishes!

I will put my hope in the Lord!
I will praise Him only and my portion will be the Lord! 
I HOPE this quote for today has given you all some Hope!
Happy Monday Y'all!  

August 9, 2018

Our List of 8 Great Bedtime Stories

Our List of
Great Bedtime Stories

  I believe the only thing for me that is more precious than that glorious bedtime; that time when we are all winding down and feeling relaxed and at ease, are mornings.
I love the sound of those little feet hitting the floor at the crack of dawn. Hearing their first words of the day..."Momma, I'm awake!"
I know, I'm a mushy momma! But, bedtime is so important. It really is.  To have some sort of routine. Something that helps them know that this time is needed, for them and yourself.
I know every night won't be the same. Schedules change, kids get sick, they have needs and demands that come up as the clock ticks on.
You're tired, you have things to finish up. We've all been there!
So, on those nights that do go as planned, make it a good time to bond. Take advantage of those moments when they know your sole focus is on them and that you cherish this time.
 Sharing a story with a child is one of the best ways to share some time with them.

We read a TON of books around here! I even started a Goodreads account for little E a while back. It helps me to keep track of most of the books we've read together.
I realized when sorting through her books and trying to get them organized that we really do have a lot of books about bedtime. That seems to be a theme that we both enjoy, and they really do help her relax and want to listen to the story.
A few of our favorites, or ones that we seem to read and re-read, over and over are listed below.

*This post contains affiliate links. By clicking on a link and making a purchase, I will receive a small commission at no additional charge to you.

Great Bedtime Stories

3. Good Night, Wonder Pets by Simon Spotlight/Nick Jr.
5. Good Night, Little Rabbit by J.P. Miller
7. Bedtime for Peppa by Scholastic
8. Night-Night, Sleep Tight by Jerry Smath

I hope you enjoy our list, and make reading a time to bond with your little ones. It doesn't have to be  bedtime stories, or even a book! Tell them a story that you remember from your own childhood, share the when I was little stories with them. You can even have them help you tell a story. Give them an idea and see where they go with it.
I have found so many wonderful books all around. Yard sales, library sales, discount shops, thrift stores, online, and even given to us by friends. If you look, you can find a book!

What are your child's favorite books about bedtime?
Do you have a favorite?
Please share! We're always looking for new stories!